Living zero waste is a tough adventure, incredibly hard – but rewarding. To the unaware, the zero waste lifestyle aims to avoid the production of trash that goes to the landfill, first among all, plastic. As you can imagine, or probably already know, avoiding plastic packaging is really hard. However, it doesn’t have to be like that: that’s why I want to share my experience and my “discoveries” with you, to make your job a little bit easier!
I’m particularly attached to this topic since my zero waste adventure started here, in Portsmouth. As for everyone, starting to reduce my plastic consumption wasn’t easy at all and I had to give up many things before being able to finally buy them without packaging.
I’m still in the process of discovering new shops and useful tips, but I would like to share these articles with everyone hoping to inspire more people in Portsmouth area to join this lifestyle.
At the moment, Tesco’s selection of bulk vegetables is not massive, but you can find everything you need for basic meals (please see the picture). They also have seasonal products like pumpkins for Halloween (I use them for risotto).
There’s also a pretty wide selection of frozen vegetarian and vegan food that comes only in paper boxes.
If you have the the chance to be at home around lunch time on Thursdays, or you simply have a safe storage place, Wayside Organics vegetable boxes are perfect for you. With £10 you will receive fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits directly at home.
You can decide the size of your box (small, medium and big) and even choose between only veggies, only fruit or a mixed one.
You may even know Riverford’s boxes, really similar to the Wayside Organics ones. I personally adore their attention to detail and the fact that they work as a usual company (with marketing campaigns, a really detailed website and even an Instagram account). Having such a constant media presence makes the customer more confident and willing to trust you and your products.
Unfortunately, they are slightly more expensive than Wayside Organics, with a small box being £11.45.
Every Saturday morning you’ll be able to buy every kind of vegetables and fruits from the local market in Commercial Rd. There’s also a kiosk that sells fish and eggs!
Prices are reasonably fair and the food is always fresh!
If you live in Southsea or Eastney, and you don’t want to go to Commercial Rd every weekend, you’ll find a lovely local shop near Southsea Shops, with a nice selection of veggies and fruits.
There’s also one in Cosham, right opposite Tesco Metro.
Bulk shops are the best: incredibly cheap and with a wide selection of everything that usually comes in plastic packaging. Portsmouth does not offer a bulk store yet, but you can find a small and efficient shop in Emsworth. The Pantry Weigh offers a nice range of oats mix, dried fruit and rice, as well as lentils and even candies!
Lush is now well known for its zero waste products: first among all, its shampoo bars! There’s a good range of solid bars created for every type of hair (dry, greasy…). A small round bar can last 100 showers, which means at least 6 months if you don’t wash your hair every day! All shampoo bars costs £6.50 which unfortunately, it’s a prohibitive price for many people, even if, as I said, they last for really long!
Personally, I didn’t love their shampoo, but I have to admit that I am a minority.
Looking on internet would not be a bad idea, if you want to spend a little less. There are different UK based companies that sell zero waste products of any kind (from kitchen tools to toothbrushes).
A lovely tea room in Southsea that happens to have a wide range of leaf teas, totally zero waste. You can try some of them with a slice of their cakes or with a full afternoon tea. Personally, I suggest the “Southsea Grey”, an Earl Grey variety specifically created for Portsmouth water.
If you visit the bulk shop in Emsworth, you can’t avoid to stop at the nearby second hand bookshop. Second hand shops are the best way to find amazing editions without spending a fortune.
If you don’t want to travel to find the books you love, I suggest you to look online. Amazon has all the books ever published, but new books costs a lot, nowadays. Why don’t you opt for a second hand online retailer like Abebooks? The range of price is around £3 per book, which will allow you to buy at least 4 books with the same amount of money you would spend for one.
I personally didn’t know we had so many libraries here in Portsmouth. Borrowing books is completely free and you can bring them back in any of the libraries in the city.